Dating Minton mark - B4 1/2

by Melissa
(Ohio, USA)

Dating Minton mark - B4 1/2 Query: Minton plate mark

Dating Minton mark - B4 1/2 Query: Minton plate mark

Dating Minton mark - B4 1/2 Query:- I have a set of 4 plates that I recently bought online. The seller did not know the maker or date, but I have identified them as Minton, circa 1845, through (

They are a variation of the cuckoo pattern, with a handpainted turquoise rim. The pattern appears to be stamped, with the colors being hand-enameled.

The backs are marked with an impressed B4 1/2 (the 1/2 is impressed as a proper 1 over 2 fraction), and there is a hand painted '14' in a reddish-brown color on all plates. One plate has an additional hand painted mark of two small vertical dashes with a longer vertical line to the right; this mark can also be seen as two horizontal dashes with a longer horizontal line beneath(and looks somewhat like an emoticon smiley face).

I am attaching a scan of one of my plates, the back mark, and a photo from Their photo is of a cup. Except for the inner rim being a different color and having a scalloped edge, the pattern is the same as my plates (notice that the bird is on the outside of the cup). They also have a listing for Minton 3084:

This shows the same bird/bush pattern as my plate but their photo is so bad I don't want to send it along!

Can you confirm the maker and date? Hopefully the scans are good enough, if not I will try to get photos instead.




Reply from Peter (admin) below - just scroll down


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Reply by Peter (admin)

To Dating Minton mark - B4 1/2 Query

Hi Melissa

Sorry to take so long to reply, but I have lots of sculpting deadlines at the moment, and have been away too.

I am trying to
catch up as fast as I can!

Are you THE Melissa, my friend who answers lots of queries for us?? If yes, thanks for your constant help - much appreciated!

Right, onto the Minton. Brilliant post, thanks.

First I need to say Minton marks are a specialist area simply because Minton were so large and important company. My general references do not go into that much detail. So confirming the maker is probably outside the remit of these help forums.

That said, if it is Minton, the impressed 'B' on your wares would give the year as 1886. Not sure what the 4 & 1/2 means.

The letter 'B' is unusual because the year codes are not normally letters but strange graphic devices called cyphers. A circle inside a triangle for 1876, a cross inside a rectangle for 1884, a dot inside a square for 1869, Staffordshire knot for 1888 ..... and so on.

This info is taken from what Goddens says about Minton marks:

From 1842 they went to an impressed 'cypher system' very specific and easy to date.

There may be exceptions I suppose, but generally, this is what you see:

There is normally a set of three marks:

YEAR -- a different 'cyper' or graphic mark for every year for 100 years.

The 'B' shown looks like the mark for 1886.

MONTH -- This is normally a letter of the alphabet - J for January, F for February etc etc (I can't see this on yours)

POTTERS MARK -- I don't have any info on the potters mark, but I guess they are the squiggles.

What else have you found out?

Best regards,

Peter (admin)

p.s. The following page is a 'must see' if you are researching fine china - for value and identification:-

Researching the identity and value of antique and vintage fine china.

Please post comments below which you think might be helpful……

Comments for Dating Minton mark - B4 1/2

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more Minton info from Godden
by: Anonymous

Hi Peter,

Yep, it's me! I have a great time tracking down these little mysteries, always glad to help!

I checked out Godden from the library, but can't pin this down. I agree, the B looks like the 1886 cypher. Godden says in 1850, Minton started a new range of pattern numbers, starting A1, A2, etc., and then in 1860 new subdivisions and letter prefixes were introduced:

'B' Decorations without gilt enrichment, c. 1870+

Either of these B's would put these plates later in the century. I emailed to ask how they identified and dated this pattern, but no response.

And by the way, no apology needed for the delay! I am the daughter-in-law of an avid figurine collector, who after decades of collecting, has whittled herself down to buying *only* Royal Worcester. Makes me wonder if she has any of your pieces.

Dating Minton mark - B4 1/2
by: Peter (admin)

Hi M

Thanks again. I don't have that info about the A1 etc in my Goddens - maybe you were looking at the later revised edition. I'll re-check. I'll try to re-check my Kovel's too.

Is your Worcester collecting family member in the US or UK? (I think you are Ohio, aren't you?)


Godden and Minton
by: Melissa

I've got a 1968 edition, p. 24. He makes a couple of references to a planned sequel for Minton 1850+, as well, but I can't find any such book. Maybe he never published it after all.

Collecting relative is in the US, her parents emigrated from Birmingham. I've picked up my taste for English china from her.

Red Blob Mark on Japanese Kutani Style Old Looking Plate
by: Peter (admin)

Hi Melissa

How's you?

What do you think of this one - ?

We just had a submission from Joanne Bray over in Australia about an old nice quality looking Japanese Kutani style (e.g. the orange palette) plate without markings except for a small red blob mark on the bottom.

Here's the photos:-

red blob pottery mark on japanese-kutani-style-plate possibly minton

I was reading up about Minton on the Cumming Collection (at the Gardiner Museum) website and contrary to what I thought about Minton being always clearly marked, they were saying that early Minton often is either totally unmarked or has just pattern numbers.

With that in mind, and your research about the above old plate with the red squiggle and blob backstamp marking being Minton of Staffordshire, I was wondering if the plate uploaded by Joanne could be of the same stable.

To my (admittedly non-expert) eye it looks:-

- Old

- Quality

- English Staffordshire early 1800's

- Japanese styling (Kutani palette)

Please post if you know any more or can add to this thread.


Peter (admin)


Here's what Joanne originally posted (the story of the plate):-

Plate bought at a Garage Sale. I have no idea of the origin of it as it has just got a mark on the back and no words. I just loved the look of the plate when I saw it. I have tried local groups in Australia on Facebook but to no avail on finding out anything about it. It has lovely flowers which I think are Peone’s. The gold trim around the edge is showing signs of ware and it is crazed but still in one piece with no chips or cracks. I am not sure what the black flowers are nor the little white ones around the edge. Any help in identifying the mark on the back to start me in the right direction to getting it valued would be appreciated. I find it unusual as it doesn’t have a uniform pattern around it so not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I would like to know of a reputable valuer in Australia if possible , if it is worth getting it valued. If anyone also knows why they do not put anything other then a paint mark on the back of things? Thankyou in advance for any information.


minton meat plate
by: Anonymous

Hi please can you tell me what does a 9c mean on a minton plate and its in very good condition would it be worth anything . thank you

minton loving cups
by: richard

I have six loving cups and saucers marked minton China 7-44. this mark is embossed into the pottery and I cannot find an exact minton backstamp example of this mark. I am wondering if anyone has more information on this type of mark.

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